I bought this book because it was mentioned several times in the book "Without a Conscience" by Robert D. Hare. While I found the story of Ted Bundy interesting, the effect he had on Ann Rule was as chilling as his murders.
Hour after hour I listened to the book waiting for the realization that Ann would finally come to about what a monster Ted Bundy was, but it never came.
Ann Rule, calmly and with almost the same callousness that Ted Bundy displayed in his life, reports on his murders and yet, she Ann, still talks about him as if her were a favored lover.
I can certainly understand protecting and supporting your friend until it is proven he is a monster, but at some point common decency should make you cringe in horror with the rest of the population at these atrocities.
This book makes the point of Dr Hare's book even more evident. When you deal with a psychopathic personality you can be taken in to the point of no return. The Stranger Beside Me" is the embodiment of that.
My short review: Buy it, buy it, buy it.
My longer review:
This book was the first audio book I ever listened too. However it soon became the "gateway drug" to an audiobook addiction that I have happily engaged in since those first heady moments of wonderment as the book whisked me away to another time and place.
Cryptonomicon is a well crafted and masterful journey across decades as Mr. Stephenson weaves his tale of intersecting characters, lives and realities. I have listened to most of Mr. Stephenson's books outside of his Baroque series and this book stands alone in its complexity and adherence to earth-based characters instead of the science fiction based character's that people most of his others books.
The mathematical concepts and the thoroughness in which the book outlines cryptography principals and theory's will astound you. While I have never done the research to see if what Mr. Stephenson writes is true in fact, it SOUNDS true and you will believe it. The moral of the story and thought provoking take on what is becoming a reality of sorts in our world today with regard to technology will make you think hard about the possible consequences of life lived "online".
The intersecting of the characters across generations and the juxtaposition of life during World War two and now is nothing short of brilliant in its execution.
While my other foray's into the worlds of Mr. Stephenson have left me feeling somewhat less than thrilled, this book is not to be missed. And when its over, you may find you have become so engaged with the characters, you miss them as you would miss friends who have left your life.
A bit about the performance. I will admit that in the first few minutes of the book I was unsure if I liked Mr. Dufris's voice. There was nothing wrong with it, it just was a little different. However it took a very short time to become accustomed to its rhythms and cadence and by the end of the book I would not have thought another artist possible of producing the same story.
Cryptonomicon is a 5 star story all the way around!
Some of this book will make you laugh, some of it will make you glad that George Carlin is a comedian and not say, the President.
The book itself was more like a series of soundbites with no rhyme or reason to the order. It started and stopped in odd places and you never have a clue when it's over until you hear the "We hope you have enjoyed this presentation" blurb.
Whether you love Carlin or hate him, you will get your chance during this audiobook to feel both. Some of his humor is startling and was obviously the production of a man who was a bit too free in indulging his drug habits. Other aspects are insightful and show a really good grasp of some of the ridiculous patterns we endure as a society.
Don't think I would pay full price for it, but if you catch it on sale....maybe.
If you have ever stood in line at the airport for hours waiting to board your flight and getting really annoyed at the TSA for all the hassle you are being put through, this book is for you.
To me the main story was incidental to the real value to be found between the pages. A sense of why we suffer such indignities just to fly, and maybe a little bit more acceptance in doing so.
I gasped to see the attitude of the Airlines during the time-frame this book covers. Having never flown during those years I was appalled at the refusal of airlines at first to do even cursory checks of passengers for weapons when it seemed every other plane was getting hi-jacked.
I felt the same sense of oh my God what were they thinking while reading this book as I did when I read "And the Band Played On" about the refusal of some individuals to close bath houses despite the very real and present danger of spreading the AIDS virus by not doing so.
Reading about the way the airline handled what became an epidemic of hi-jacking, to me showed the exact same self-serving attitude that was present at the on-set of the AIDS epidemic, albeit with thankfully a hugely different loss of life.
Worth the read, if just to get a little perspective.
There are parts of this book that make you cringe and that is a good thing. Why? Because you care so much about the characters after the first few chapters that its like watching your best friend or someone you love making mistakes that you just wish you could stop them from making.
The author did such a good job of fleshing out the people in this book that you can't wait to see what they do next.
Excellent story, though given the overriding theme of drug addiction and all the mess that goes along with it, it can be quite hard to read some parts. The tidbits about the art world and the way that a certain piece of art can attach itself to your heart is just a joy to read.
The story will move you, and in the end that's the best thing we can ever say about a book.
I bought this book on one of those neat little "get a book for 4.95" windows that happily pop up now and then when you have bought something else. I didn't have high hopes for it but for 4.95 I thought "what the heck?"
After listening to it, I would have gladly paid full price. This book explains randomness and some mathematical concepts in such easy to listen to terms that you find yourself listening to it many times just to remind yourself of some of the cool things this book tells you.
My advice is buy it, and then bookmark every place you hear something you might want to refer back to and label it. I am in no way a math geek, but I love this book.
I do not understand how the author of Cryptonomicon could have authored this book. While it shares a few stylistic similarities with the excellent storytelling of Cryptonomicon, this book was so bad I could not wait for it to be over. I listened all the way to the end just hoping it would somehow magically make sense, but alas by the time it ended I was just happy it was over.
It's wasn't the futuristic storyline that made the difference, It was just so disjointed that I found it impossible to follow the story or even to care about the characters.
The performance of the book was fine but the story was just too bizarre to keep my interest.
It's hard to give a book about brutal murders 5 stars without clarifying that the stars are for the telling of the story and not due to an affinity for the content of the story itself. So with that out of the way...The storytelling is amazingly detailed and as such is sometimes very hard to listen to. Reading this story gave me insight about something that, although I thought I had known about for years, I never in any real sense understood. This book opened my eyes.Though a very long book it moved along and kept me interested. I found I could not stop listening until I absolutely had to.
Haven't listened to anything else by Scott Brick, but after listening to this book I would consider it a definite plus that he was the narrator on any other books I review for purchase.
That disenfranchised people without something good to believe in, often make very bad life choices.
When you listen to this book you will find yourself cursing the stupidity of the law enforcement and court system that allowed Charles Manson and his family to commit both the heinous crimes they are famous for, and also the undoubtedly numerous offenses for which they have never been tried.I am and always will be a supporter of the ideal of law enforcement and the officers that protect us from the evil in this world. But the absolute failure of some of the officers and other personnel involved in this investigation to perform their duties in this case is mind boggling and deeply disturbing.
Yes, I would drop this one from the series. I did not enjoy the way the Harry Bosch's character evolved in this book at all. I read all three preceding books just prior to reading this one and by the end of this one, I really disliked Harry.
Though the story was fine and had good development and suspense, the way Harry was characterized in this book made him a very unlikable person. By the end of the book I couldn't care less what happened to him. He was written as a mean, arrogant, obnoxious, morally corrupt person who had lost all the soul displayed in his previous books. I was looking forward to a series I could really get "into" but this one killed my interest. Maybe it's just me, but I came away from this book depressed and joyless.
Good voices. Kept the characters alive and believable.
Perhaps the negative passion this book causes me to express would seem like a success to the author: at least I cared. But I don't think I will buy any more of the series because after listening to this one, I just really dislike Harry and don't care what happens to him next.
I didn't read the print version, but I enjoyed the audio version very much. I am not sure if the print version could have captured some of the feeling that was evident in the audio version due to the emotional queues that are available with voice acting.
JT. He was the main character and the story pretty much revolved around him and his experience. I was a little put off by the dual world theories, but I think people have a right to believe in what they believe in and the circumstances in which he found himself might have led me to change any number of things I now believe, so I am not going to judge.The story was well told with strong mental images that had me laughing or holding my breath and sometimes just thanking God I was not there.
I love William Dufris's voice. That is how I found the book, by searching for books he had read. I have also listened to Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephanson and I thought both books were well performed and the voices of the characters distinguished well enough to allow the the suspension of belief to enjoy them as separate characters.
It was far too long to listen to in one setting, but I found myself wanting to get back to it as soon as time permitted.
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